In this paper, the neutral plane in a compartment fire was measured by Optical Schlieren Photography. This is a highly sensitive, optical, nonintrusive and remote technique to visualize fluid flow, utilizing refraction when light passes through air of different densities. The positions and variations of hot air flowing out of an opening can be determined clearly. A 1/14 scale model room burning candles inside was used. Hot air induced by the candle flame flowing out a 15 cm opening was observed. Thermocouples were also placed at the opening to compare with the neutral plane determined by the Schlieren Photography method. Simulations with Computational Fluid Dynamics were performed to justify the observed locations of the neutral planes.

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